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2021 Conservation Accomplishments

Posted on Feb 4, 2022 in Conservation News, WA Wild Blog

2021 was another challenging year with ever-shifting pandemic restrictions, but we worked hard to move our conservation work forward.


Mining Halted in Skagit Headwaters!

Photo Credit: Wilderness Committee

While we celebrated the announcement that an agreement between the British Columbia Government and Imperial Metals removed future mining threats in the Skagit Headwaters on January 19, 2022, Washington Wild’s leadership of an international coalition of nearly 300 Tribes, First Nations, elected officials, local businesses and stakeholders during 2021 was a critical factor in this exciting conservation win.

Wild Olympics Passes US House of Representatives

A fisherman casts a line in the green blue waters of the Hoh River

Fisherman on the Hoh River courtesy of Wild Olympics Campaign.

On September 24, the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. The House passage comes on a recent wave of support and new local endorsements rallying behind the legislation which would add 126,000 acres of new Wilderness areas and more than 460 miles of Wild and Scenic River on the Olympic Peninsula. Washington Wild is a founding member of the Wild Olympics Campaign which increased the number of local Olympic Peninsula endorsements to more than 800.


Legacy Roads and Trails Act Signed into Law

Aerial image of a forest with a road and river running parallel to one another

Photo by Evgeny Vasenev

On November 15, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Included in the bill was the Legacy Roads and Trails Act, which leverages public and private funding to protect rivers, restore fish passages, and improve roads and trails. WA Wild helped lead statewide efforts in support of Legacy Roads and Trails Funding.

Healthy Environment for All (HEAL) Act signed into law

On May 17, Governor Jay Inslee signed the HEAL Act into law. The legislation is intended to put environmental justice at the forefront of the state’s strategic plans, programs, community engagement, and spending decisions while centering communities most impacted by pollution. Washington Wild joined a statewide coalition supporting the passage of the HEAL Act.

Skagit County Tribes and local governments oppose Skagit Headwaters Mining

The mountain peaks of the Skagit River Headwaters

Skagit Headwaters photo courtesy of the Wilderness Committee

In April, Washington Wild helped coordinate an effort to generate local opposition to the proposed mining threat in the Skagit Headwaters resulting in 15 letters or resolutions opposing mining in the Skagit Headwaters from nearly every city, town and local land use authority in Skagit County including Anacortes, Mount Vernon, Concrete, Skagit County Commission, Skagit Public Utilities and the Samish, upper Skagit and Swinomish Tribes.

Biden Administration Commits to Reinstate Roadless Protections

Amy Gulick stands next to a giant old growth tree and looks up at it in amazement

Photo by Amy Gulick

On November 23, the Biden Administration announced a 60-day comment period with the publication of a proposal to reinstate longstanding Roadless Area protections for 9 million acres of National Forest which were repealed by the Trump administration. Washington Wild led statewide efforts to oppose the repeal of these old-growth forest protections and again led a similar effort of grassroots action and earned media supporting their reinstatement.

Protecting Washington’s Wild Places All Year Long


through a petition urging then President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the Trump Administration’s reckless actions of overriding the Roadless Rule in the Tongass National Forest.


Submitted testimony in support of honoring the late Nisqually Tribal member Billy Frank Jr. with a statue in the national statuary hall in Washington D.C.


Washington Wild Blend, a new collaboration coffee roast with Lighthouse Roasters with $2 from each pound supporting wild land and water protection.


Celebrated Earth Day with a Virtual Happy Hour: Working Together for a Greener Washington, featuring community partners Big Time Brewery, Hot Cakes, and Lighthouse Roasters.


Highlighted a guest voices column in our Spring newsletter by Forterra CEO Michelle Connor discussing how Washington Wild and Forterra fill distinct but complementary niches in the broader Washington State conservation community.


Led local earned media efforts on the mining threat in the Skagit Headwaters including a Seattle Times Editorial opposing the proposed mining and two letters-to-the-editor from Skagit Valley Malting and Mount Vernon City Councilmember Richard Brocksmith.


Released Public Lands Pilsner in collaboration with Brewshed Alliance member Lucky Envelope marked by our first in-person event since February 2020. Sales led to over $2,000 raised for advancing our work of protecting wild lands and waters.


Organized a grassroots action alert resulting in 770 messages sent by 332 individuals urging the National Parks Service to conduct an environmental assessment before allowing low flying commercial air tours over Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks.


Coordinated a letter signed by 52 conservation, wildlife, and recreation organizations to the Washington Department of Ecology in support of Outstanding Resource Water protections for the Cascade, Green, and Napeequa Rivers.


Hosted the virtual gala Wild Night Out. Upper Skagit Tribe Elder Scott Schuyler, Mount Vernon Resident Richard Brocksmith, and Hop Supplier Yakima Chief Hops were honored for their efforts in advancing our Skagit Headwaters campaign.


Led local efforts in support of reinstating National Forest Roadless Area protections in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest by generating six opinion editorials and letters-to-the-editor in the Yakima Herald, Spokesman Review, and Seattle Times by local stakeholders.


Honored in Hop Culture magazine with a Best Beer of 2021 for Diane, our collaboration with Fair Isle Brewing featuring ingredients sourced from the Skagit Valley watershed and brewed in opposition to mining in the Skagit headwaters.